The Holiday Spirit

My son and I dared to challenge the hordes at the mall on this Black Friday. We went to a local stop in Sherman Oaks that I knew would be crowded, but not oppressive. I had a couple of items that I wanted to check on, but did not need to do any real shopping.

While I was waltzing through the mall we encountered numerous examples of what I dislike about the holiday season.

Frankly as a Jewish person I find the crush of Christmas music/decorations to be rather oppressive. The commercial aspect just drowns out any religious compoent, or so it seems to me. If that holiday was a part of my faith I would be offended at the influence of money upon the holiday.

And to that end I really dislike any attempt to equate Chanukah as being the Jewish version of Christmas. They are not equivalent and shouldn’t be drawn that way.

I also have a problem with the push to be nicer and more charitable because it is part of the holiday spirit. What it says to me is that it is only important to act like this for about 45 days a year. In other words members of the disenfranchised groups only have a small window in which it is meaningful to demonstrate concern about their welfare.

It is the same perverse logic surrounding Valentine’s day, which is in large part why I refuse to observe the day. You can expect commentary about that false holiday closer to mid-February.

The bottom line to me is that it is wrong and disingenuous to suggest that we should be better people for a short time each year. The ideals that we see people preach during this time of year are things that should be expressed with the same fervor all year long.

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